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Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI)

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Student Outreach and Recruitment (SOAR)

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) proudly leads the effort to build a diverse workforce and cultivate an inclusive work environment. We do this by developing and implementing policies and programs that promote diversity and inclusion in our workplace as we strive to ensure that VA’s workforce is drawn from the broadest segments of society so that it is poised to meet the present and future needs of our Nations Veterans, their families, and beneficiaries.

VA’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI), has the primary responsibility of providing leadership and guidance for the Department’s diversity and inclusion initiatives.

VA has established a student outreach program titled Student Outreach and Recruitment (SOAR) Program. This program focuses on the provision of information on Federal employment, VA careers, and VA internships and mentoring. The goal of the program is to establish a pipeline for students/graduates to explore careers at VA and to foster capacity building. The intent is to provide real-time job, internship, and career information to SOAR Program participants.

Using this program VA will market Pathways, the National Diversity Intern Program (NDIP), the Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP), and (Federal Government's official source for federal job listings, job applications, and employment opportunity information) and other VA intern and employment programs through SOAR to increase the pool of potential fully qualified applicants for VA employment opportunities.


The Department identifies SOAR Program partners consisting of colleges and universities with diverse student enrollments in support of VA’s talent acquisition efforts. Such diversity is tantamount towards helping to build a high-performing workforce that reflects all segments of society, including the Veterans community. SOAR Program participation is formalized through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and the goal of the MOU is to:

  • Establish a cooperative framework that fosters collaboration between VA and the applicable college/university to the extent that such coordination and collaboration is consistent with applicable laws, regulations, and policies;
  • Support their respective missions and to achieve the parties’ common aim of educational excellence; and
  • Coordinate and implement outreach to diverse student populations at the partner schools for employment and educational opportunities in VA.

To accomplish the objectives outlined above, the parties engage in activities that serve to:

  • Increase awareness about career developmental programs, training, webinars, mentoring, shadowing, internships, fellowships, and other developmental opportunities;
  • Provide speakers, coaches, ambassadors, and mentors to support student development; and
  • Conduct onsite or virtual outreach activities to promote VA as an employer of choice to students, faculty, and affiliates.

To date, VA has MOUs with the following SOAR Program partners:

Program Related Links

Other Internships/Student Programs

Resources for Students